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Opposition makes headway in local elections

October 15th, 2019

In their snap assessments on Sunday’s municipal elections, the leading pro-government daily and a liberal commentator both point out that while the opposition has captured Budapest and almost half the major cities in Hungary, Fidesz is still firmly entrenched in the countryside.

In Sunday’s local election, opposition candidates won control in 11 out of 23 major cities and in 14 of Budapest’s 23 districts. In the countryside, Fidesz came first in most smaller settlements. As a result, Fidesz representatives will retain their majority in most county assemblies.

Magyar Nemzet attributes the victory of opposition candidates in Budapest and other major cities primarily to Győr Mayor Zsolt Borkai’s sex tape and the surrounding corruption allegations (see BudaPost October 14 and October 8). The leading pro-government daily suspects that although Borkai narrowly won in Győr, despite the revelations, his case dealt a painful blow to other Fidesz candidates throughout the country. Magyar Nemzet hopes that Fidesz will understand the message and the scandal will have consequences within the governing party. As for the prospects of cities that will be led by the opposition, Magyar Nemzet doubts if the new mayors can live up to the expectations created by their own wild campaign promises.

444.hu’s Péter Magyari interprets the local election results as a success of the joint opposition candidates. The liberal pundit notes that as a result of Jobbik’s inclusion in the broad alliance of the opposition, Fidesz can no longer claim to occupy the centre of the political spectrum, flanked by radical parties on both sides. He thinks that despite their success, it will be very difficult for the opposition to deepen their cooperation and run jointly in the 2022 Parliamentary election.

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